GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It is THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14. Happy to be back in the blog saddle after a few days knocked off by Hurricane Irma. 2) I refuse to believe the Indians have won 20 games in a row. Know it's true. Don't believe it. 3) Know any devoted Dolfans? Treat them to our book on club's first half-century. Learn more or order here: Fins At 50. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Sports' place in our lives as a hurricane hits, Upset Bird Day in America, Collball Week 2 & more. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat.
Texans-Bengals pick: Two teams already desperate to bounce back from awful Week 1 performances. Only one will. Here's who: Click Thursday Night Gem.
Marino documentary debuts Friday: What I was first to tell you about a few months ago is ready to pop. NFL Films' "A Football Life" series stars Dolphins great Dan Marino in a documentary debuting this Friday -- Dan's 56th birthday -- at 9 p.m. on NFL Network. Yours truly was among people interviewed for the doc, although (I've seen the finished product) some of my best work was left on the cutting room floor (!).
The no-excuses challenge for Dolphins, Canes: Their seasons were born to a hurricane named Irma. Games were postponed or cancelled, schedules and plans disrupted. Now, the challenge for the Miami Dolphins and UM Hurricanes is to accept no excuses and make something special of what began in turmoil. Click on Storybook Ending Waits, But Can Dolphins Or Canes Write It? to read my latest column.
LET'S ALL MAKE FUN OF TOM BRADY (WHILE WE CAN) / HERALD QB RANKINGS / WEEK 1:
The Chiefs' Alex Smith soars to the Week 1 crown with 56.40
points, edging Viking Sam Bradford, as the Miami Herald launches its 20th
season of Passer Success System (PASS) NFL quarterback rankings. But here's the fun part. Miami's Jay Cutler had a better week than the Patriots' Tom Brady. Cutler threw zero interceptions by virtue of Hurricane Irma's unexpected gift of a bye week, while Brady stumbles out the gate in 26th
place (with 9.35 points) of 31 passers who had at least 10 attempts. Our formula is simple and unchanged since its inception in 1998, factoring accuracy, yardage, TD-interception ratio and team result. (The exact formula is detailed below). Most major ranking systems such as the NFL's and ESPN's are complicated and percentile based, allowing QBs who miss half a season to still win a title, while our system is cumulative, rewarding players who are consistently productive and avoid injury or benching. Here we go!
MIAMI HERALD PASS RANKINGS / WEEK 1
RK '16 Player, Team Week 1/Season
1 16 Alex Smith, KC 56.40
2 5 Sam Bradford, MIN 53.30
3 6 Matthew Stafford, DET 45.60
4 20 Carson Wentz, PHI 36.35
5 40 Jared Goff, LAR 36.30
6 7 Derek Carr, OAK 36.10
7 2 Matt Ryan, ATL 36.05
8 1 Drew Brees, NO 34.55
8 3 Aaron Rodgers, GB 34.55
10 15 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 33.15
11 9 Dak Prescott, DAL 30.40
12 13 Eli Manning, NYG 28.00
13 19 Philip Rivers, LAC 26.60
14 52 Mike Glennon, CHI 25.65
15 24 Trevor Siemian, DEN 24.95
Bubble: Tyrod Taylor, BUF, 23.20. Week 1/season best: Smith, KC, 56.40 (28-35, 368, 4-0 in win). Week 1/season worst: Andy Dalton, CIN, minus-2.50 (16-31, 170, 0-4 in loss).
Herald PASS Championships: 7—Brees (2008-11, '14-016); 6—Peyton Manning (2000, '03-04, '06, '12-13); 2—Kurt Warner (1999, 2001); 1 each—Steve Young (1998), Rich Gannon (2002), Carson Palmer (2005) and Tom Brady (2007).
Points formula: Accuracy—Completions times two minus attempts. Ex: 17 for 28 = 6 points. Yardage—Five percent of total. Ex: 202 yards = 10.10 points. TD-interception ratio—Difference times three. Ex: Four TDs and one pick = 9 points. Team result—Winning QB of record = 5 points.
MY WEEKEND WITH IRMA: Thanks to all our readers and listeners who expressed concerned as we bunkered in against Hurricane Irma. We sustained a bunch of tree and landscape damage but otherwise made out fine. Pictured is a pile of felled trees and foliage on my swale, collected from my yard. It's about six feet high and at least 20 feet wide, and growing. (Click image for enlarged view). We were without power most of Sunday and Monday and had no Internet until late Tuesday, but I cannot complain. Not one bit. Not after so many of my fellow Floridians got hit so much worse. I feel very lucky, in fact. Very fortunate. Thoughts are with those in Key West and the state's west coast and everyone trying to rebuild their lives. Happy to be rid of awful Irma, and thrilled to again appreciate the small miracles of life, such as the flip of a switch magically producing light. My latest column, linked directly above, includes more on what our Irma experience was like. Thanks again for the concern, and it's great to be back!
NFL PIX 'N FANTASY: WEEK 1 RESULTS: Every week in the blog I'll tell you how I did the previous NFL week with my Miami Herald predictions and with my Greg's Lobos team in the LeBatard Show fantasy league. In Week 1: Herald picks: So-so start -- We went 8-7 overall (not good) and also 8-7 against the point spread (not bad). Misfired badly on our Upset of the Week call (49ers over Panthers) but nailed another outright upset (Raiders over Titans) and had three other 'dogs-with-points (Chiefs, Jaguars, Chargers). Greg's Lobos: 1-0, baby! -- The Lobos crushed Lorenzo Rodriguez (TV producer), 115.1-72.4, led by 20.9 points from Lobo of the Week Jordy Nelson. Also got 20.6 from Todd Gurley.
SOPY RANKINGS / AFTER WEEK 2: LITTLE CHANGE, THANKS TO IRMA: Only two of seven state FBS teams (FIU and FAU) snuck in games in Week 2, while the other five were cancelling or postponing due to Hurricane Irma. Therefore there isn't much change in our blog's State Offensive Player of the Year (SOPY) rankings -- what we like to call our ongoing "state Heisman" race -- entering Week 3. The weekly rankings measure the most productive quarterbacks, running backs and receivers from the state's seven top-level FBS teams: Miami, Florida, Florida State, FIU, FAU, UCF and South Florida. The rankings are cumulative but based on average yards per game: Total divided by number of games a player's team has played. This keeps the comparison level even because not all teams have played same number of games. Our simple formula awards a half-point for every passing yard and one point for every rushing or receiving yard, with six points for every TD scored or thrown. Here is the statewide SOPY Top 10 entering Week 3:
2017 SOPY WEEK 2 TOP 10
RK LW Player, School-Pos. Avg.
1 1 McKenzie Milton-UCF qb 208
2 2 Quinton Flowers-SoFla qb 183
3 3 Mark Walton-Miami rb 168
4 4 Malik Rosier-Miami qb 167.5
5 6 Travis Homer-Miami rb 133
6 7 Alex McGough-FIU qb 131.25
7 5 Daniel Parr-FAU qb 110.75
8 8 Thomas Owens- FIU rec 105
9 9 Deondre Francois-FSU qb 102
10 -- DeAndre McNeal-FAU rec 101.5
Bubble: Dredrick Snelson-UCF rec, 98. Week 2 best: McGough-FIU, 155. Season best: Milton-UCF, 208 (W1).
Cote's State of the State rankings: 1. Florida State (0-1); 2. Miami (1-0); 3. South Florida (2-0); 4. Florida (0-1); 5. UCF (1-0); 6. FAU (0-1); 7. FIU (1-1).
HOT BUTTON DAILY: THU 9-14-17: Today's sports events of most interest in SoFla:
1. Houston at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m.: Texans, Bengals in Thursday Night Football.
2. Marlins at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.: It's now 14 losses in past 16 games for rotting Fish.
3. UEFA soccer, 12:45 p.m.: Five more matches happening today.
Revisit our blog often because we update and add to our latest posts throughout the day.